As part of Open Adoption Roundtable #4, Heather at Production Not Reproduction asks open adoption bloggers to describe “a small moment that open adoption made possible.”
We were at the hospital when our son was born, and ever since, I've been secretly hung up on his birth mother's reaction to him. She seemed... casual... almost indifferent. I spoke with her privately and let her know that if she had changed her mind or had ANY doubts about proceeding with the adoption, then maybe this wasn't our child, and we would understand. She assured me that she had no doubts.
And yet, she only went to the nursery (reluctantly) at her mother's urging, and she never once asked to hold him or feed him. I wondered if she was trying not to get attached. I wondered if she felt good about her decision to place him but regretted choosing my husband and me. I wondered if she was on serious pain medication. I wondered if she had mental health issues. I wondered how anyone could resist his tiny, soft, warm innocence and his sweet little head.
I think of her every day for many reasons. As the weeks passed my gratitude deepened, but still, I wondered, and in the weeks leading up to our reunion I was outright anxious and apprehensive.
Happy ending ahead... as soon as she saw him she broke into a grin and reached for him. I got to spend the entire afternoon watching her coo and rub noses with him, make silly faces and giggle about his wispy hair. And best of all, she smiled every time someone said he looks like her. A really big, proud, happy smile.
I didn't realize how much I needed to see that. She gave me so much, but I guess I wanted that too. I needed to see her with him as much as she needed to see him with me. Thanks to openness, we both got what we were looking for.